Of the 10 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Mobile County, two patients are in the hospital, Mobile County Health Department staff announced at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
There has been one reported death from the virus in Alabama, and the state is currently dealing with 386 cases. According to MCHD epidemiologist Rendi Murphree, there have been roughly 171 negative tests results in Mobile in addition to the 10 positive cases identified.
As testing ramps up in the area, the number of positive cases is expected to increase. All four of Mobile’s hospitals are testing, as well as two local clinics. More information about the testing sites in the Mobile Bay area can be found on Lagniappe’s landing page for major COVID-19 developments.
During one of his now routine daily briefings, Mayor Sandy Stimpson said the city of Mobile is redirecting some of its previously planned testing efforts to help local hospitals.
Currently, first responders are now helping Mobile Infirmary with logistics at its Diagnostic and Medical clinics on Springhill Avenue and another testing site on Hillcrest Road, The redirect will send assets to the hospitals’ own facilities as opposed to focusing on city testing sites.
Stimpson said police are already directing traffic and the city has provided barricades to Mobile Infirmary in order to help crowd control and the sites. He said city staff are in the process of contacting University Hospital to see how the city’s resources could be best used.
“It’s here and we’re testing but it’s by referral only,” Stimpson said. “There’s a limited supply and we don’t have enough tests for the general public to be tested just to satisfy your curiosity.”
The tests processed by the Alabama Department Public Health in Montgomery are still limited to those patients who have symptoms of COVID-19 and are hospitalized, immunocompromised, have more than one chronic health issue or are a healthcare worker.
Murphree said it’s important to make sure healthcare workers aren’t spreading the virus and that they are kept healthy in order to deal with increased numbers of cases that are likely to occur.
Although Mobile County Health Officer Bert Eichold confirmed he has the authority to call for a shelter-in-place order countywide, he said he agreed with Stimpson’s position that there isn’t a need to call for such drastic measures in Mobile at the moment.
Stimpson has previously said “it’s a bit premature” to consider a shelter-in-place order in Mobile.
As for a curfew, similar to what Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox called for earlier on Wednesday, Stimpson said there are no plans for that in Mobile either. Although, he confirmed he had “kicked around” the idea of a curfew previously with members of his staff.
“Tuscaloosa is in the six county area … where there have been an abundance of cases,” Stimpson said. “Just like in Auburn, there are a lot of students there and they have issues they’re addressing that we’re not addressing here.”
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